Port-Harcourt Port-Harcourt, capital of Rivers state and port town in southern Nigeria. It lies along the Bonny River (an eastern distributary of the Niger), 41 miles (66 km) upstream from the Gulf of Guinea. Founded in 1912 in an area traditionally inhabited by the Ijaw people, it serve as a port, named for Lewis Harcourt - the colonial secretary. Port-Harcourt has long been an important merchant port and is today the centre of Nigeria’s oil industry. Its exports include petroleum, coal, tin, palm products, cocoa, and groundnuts. Among the industries of the area are timber processing, car manufacturing, food and tobacco processing, and the manufacture of rubber, glass, metal, and paper products, cement, petroleum products, paint, enamelware, bicycles, furniture, and soap.